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Loki Season 2 proves Tom Hiddleston is Marvel's MVP
★★★★ | He’s tricky (tricky) tricky (tricky)
By the second episode of Loki’s second season, it’s increasingly clear why Marvel brought the trickster god back so many times. He is easily the most entertaining and consistent thing to come out of the Marvel in years.
In the hands of Tom Hiddleston, Loki has undergone a wild ride as a character. From the pitiful would-be villain in Thor to a real world threat in Avengers, only to turn full-blown hero by Thor Ragnarök, there are few characters in the MCU that can boast as much growth.
Still, even with such accolades, it feels like Hiddleston and his Asgardian alter ego are just getting started.
Picking up at the cliffhanger of season one, Loki wastes no time in getting things going.
After killing He who Remains, a breaking timeline literally tears Loki apart through the ages. Unable to stay in one place for long, he leaps through the past and the future in a desperate bid to find Morpheus (Owen Wilson), his one friend left in the world.
There’s barely a recap to start the season, and those who don’t live and breathe Marvel (or aren’t autistic, like yours truly) are better off catching the comprehensive recap on offer.
The wild pacing takes a moment to ease the viewers in. While the Time Variance Agency is never better than when it leans into the Terry Gilliam-esque nonsense, the first two episodes are a little trigger-happy with throwing curveballs at the unsuspecting viewer.
Although, it must be said, the first episode, directed by the great Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, is the most wildly satisfying hour of Marvel in years.
Once you settle into the frantic nature of things, Loki feels like a return to something familiar and exciting. It’s Marvel as we remember it. Self-contained, yet with just enough connective tissue to the big picture that those looking for the Easter eggs will feel rewarded.
Sure, there’s still that whole Kang storyline, which isn’t anywhere as interesting as Thanos. But even a tepid big bad is fascinating when played by Jonathan Majors. Just as long as you can ignore some of the heft baggage he brings with him.
Meanwhile, it’s Wilson and Ke Huy Quan who prove themselves as fan favorites. Quan gets to play up his manic, cheerfully flustered persona, while Wilson couldn’t get more lackadaisical if he tried.
Combined with Hiddleston’s bemused frustration, Wunmi Mosaku’s straight man, and Sophia Di Martino’s live wire antics, and Loki sparks in a way no other Marvel property does.
But it’s the future that worries me. Marvel probably has a plan for where all this is going, but unlike with the Infinity Saga, that plan rarely translates to us viewers. Between the genre-hopping TV series, the tonally inconsistent films, and now the rumors of a total franchise reboot in Secret Invasion, and it’s hard to get excited anymore.
Even if Loki continues to be great, where does it all go? Maybe it’s better to leave the God of Mischief to do his own thing. Surely the infinite multiverse, along with the infinite possibilities of time travel, can be enough.
But as the season progresses, it’s clear that this too is in service of a bigger picture. Only this time, I’m not sure that even Kevin Feige has a complete idea what that picture looks like.
So, if you get onboard with another season of Loki, temper the expectations for a full and satisfying story that’s entirely self-contained. This is still a big buildup towards something.
It’s the most satisfying buildup to date, but that’s quite the asterisk you have to put on a series.
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